Southwestern Assemblies of God University alumnus Jeremy RussellWaxahachie, TXJanuary 12, 2012Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus Jeremy Russell ministers to youth through rap and hip-hop music. Russell, also known as “Protégé", founded Protégé Ministries and has released two albums since 2010.

Protégé founded Protégé Ministries in May 2010 to reach students in his home community of Delta, Colorado. His music promotes Christianity as a lifestyle. Protégé explains, “Through my music, I want to provide people with practical application of how to have a genuine relationship and intimacy with God.”

Coach Gregg Hayes recruited Protégé to play baseball at SAGU. Protégé appreciated his time and spiritual development at SAGU. He shares, "One of the things I miss most about SAGU is chapel. I really connected with God during those times.”

Professor Garland Owensby influenced Russell’s life and taught him about youth ministry. He says, “Professor Owensby showed me how fun ministry can be and how essential it is that you are genuine. At SAGU I was able to learn how to be myself and live out a genuine faith.” In May 2009, Protégé graduated with a bachelor’s in Pastoral Ministries with an emphasis in Youth Ministry.

It was during his time at SAGU that Protégé began to experiment with rap and hip hop, using his poetry as song lyrics. Since his youth, Protégé has been passionate about music and poetry, but never shared his poetry with anyone until he was in college. Encouraged by friends and family, he began to share his music with others.

After graduation, Russell began working on a self-produced album "Arise” that he released in 2010. With the release of the album and founding of Protégé Ministries, Protégé began receiving invitations to perform at events in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. Recently, he kicked off the first service of the Rocky Mountain District’s AG Fine Arts convention and performed at two of Colorado’s largest Christian music festivals, Nightvision and Heavenfest.

In October 2010, Protégé signed with Tate Music Group. In the Spring of 2011, Protégé released “Project,” his debut album as a professional recording artist. “Project” is the introductory album to a five-part CD series.

Protégé believes that today’s generation of youth connect with hip hop. He says, "Hip hop is more than just music; it is a culture and way of expression. Hip hop is a lifestyle. It is through this avenue that can I send a message of life to a generation that is spiritually dead.”

Protégé is working on a new album called “DNA.” He says, “The album emphasizes that in order to change our lives, we must change our DNA, the very thing that makes us who we are.” “DNA” will release in May 2012. He is preparing to launch a new record label called "Dry Bone Records,” based on the prophecy in Ezekiel 37 about the dead coming to life. He is currently working on "Learning to Die,” containing a message about dying to self daily.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The University was established in 1927, and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.

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